One of my clients had merged two formerly separate departments to form a new sales department. This was to provide as many synergies as possible and to provide optimal customer service. At first it did not seem to be a problem, as the business partners of the two former departments were largely the same. But on closer inspection we realized that these business partners were in fact the same companies, but not the same contact persons. It was therefore not possible to simply merge everything. Instead, we had to rethink the entire sales structure.
So in my consulting function I first recommended an analysis of the purchasing processes of the business partners. When doing so, it turned out that the companies had three significantly different purchasing procedures. When compared to the respective sales processes it became clear that the products and services were sold differently depending on the specific product area of the business partner. Furthermore, the know-how and personalities needed for each process were so different that it made sense to reflect the purchasing processes of the business partners in the sales process and to distribute them accordingly among the sales staff. Companies that were attended to by several sales staff were given one employee as a main contact person, who in turn coordinated the most coherent processes with the business partner’s opposite number.
The company supported by me had a customer and employee survey carried out before and after the restructuring of the sales department. The reaction of the business partners was clear. They were happy to finally have a sales partner who spoke their own language! The reaction of the sales team was similar, and it was very pleased to find the necessary know-how in the purchasing department!
The company results spoke for themselves. The concept was a complete success. Some synergies were also achieved, but the sales team largely remained the way it was. Which, however, more than paid off thanks to the improved results. A true win-win situation!